Each year thousands of children are burned due to the reckless use and improper storage of gasoline. Gasoline, when ignited in a controlled manner to power engines, serves a very useful purpose. However, because it is so commonplace, we take its presence for granted without realizing the dangers. The same quality of explosive ignition that makes gasoline valuable as a fuel can cause terrible injuries when it is handled carelessly or used for an unintended purpose.
Most injuries associated with these products occur in the home when the improper use and storage of gasoline and other flammable liquids results in both bodily injury and property damage. Knowing how to prevent these injuries can protect you and those you love from a devastating burn injury. The first step to ensure a safe home environment is to increase your awareness and identify potential hazards. The next step is to make the necessary changes in your behavior and environment.
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Gasoline and other flammable liquid-related burns are a preventable problem. The State Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following safety tips:
Gasoline Use –
· Use gasoline only to fuel an engine. That is its only use!
· Remember that gasoline vapors can be ignited by a spark, flame or other source of heat that is located many feet away.
· DON’T use gasoline as a starter fluid or accelerant for charcoal grills.
· DON’T use gasoline as a cleaning solution, solvent, accelerant or insecticide.
· DON’T use gasoline as a fuel in devices designed for other fuels, such as kerosene.
Handling Gasoline –
· DON’T allow children to touch gasoline or a gasoline container, even under supervision.
· DON’T store or use gasoline near a flame source, such as matches, lighters and pilot lights on stoves and water heaters.
· DON’T use gasoline indoors.
· DON’T siphon gasoline by mouth, as it is harmful or fatal if swallowed.
· DON’T induce vomiting if gasoline is swallowed. Instead, seek immediate medical attention.
Storing Gasoline –
· Store gasoline only in an approved gasoline container and keep a class B type extinguisher nearby.
· Store gasoline in a cool and well-ventilated area, such as a shed and preferably in a locked cabinet out of the reach of children.
· DON’T store gasoline anywhere inside the home or vehicle and never store more than one gallon of gas.
Gasoline Containers –
· The container must have a tight fitting cap for both the spout and vent, be predominantly red in color and properly labeled, “GASOLINE”, and bear a warning label about the dangers of gasoline.
· DON’T put anything other than gasoline in a gasoline container.